20th century, activities, afternoon adventure, dining at downton, england, television, travel

Afternoon Adventure: Highclere Castle

AKA: That time we went to Downton Abbey. We saw all sorts of wonderful things on our honeymoon. The Churchill War Rooms, the Tower of London, Stonehenge, the Sherlock Holmes Museum, a play with Sîan Phillips...and yet, now that we're back, every time someone asks us what we saw, the first thing out of my… Continue reading Afternoon Adventure: Highclere Castle

18th century, activities, childhood, crafts, holidays, vacation, winter

Colonial Craft: Pomanders

Happy New Year! I hope you had a wonderful holiday season and that you're settling into 2014. I spent Christmas with my family in Ohio, listening to my dad's beloved Ray Conniff Singers and cooking up a storm. We spent many an evening by the fire and even processed maple syrup in one long day… Continue reading Colonial Craft: Pomanders

20th century, activities, baking, boston cooking-school, canada, fruit, summer, vacation

Blueberry picking (and muffins)

It's been two weeks since we returned from vacation in Canada, and I can't stop thinking about it. Even though I've since joined my parents for a weekend in upstate New York. Even though Josh and I have entertained and seen friends and gotten thoroughly back into the Providence swing of things. Even though school… Continue reading Blueberry picking (and muffins)

activities, gardening, kitchen garden, summer, vegetables

The best-laid plans of gardeners

It's been some time since we've visited the container garden. Let's take a stroll, shall we?Here's the basic layout: broad beans (the happy tall stalks in the corner); sugar snap peas climbing those bamboo trellises; one strawberry plant; onions flanking tomatoes and peppers; garlic and carrot shoots; lettuce; hyssop; an attempt at a Three Sisters… Continue reading The best-laid plans of gardeners

activities, afternoon adventure, around the roman table, dining at downton, gardening, homesteading, maple syrup, mrs beeton's book of household management, settlement cookbook

Two years

Dear blog,Today you are older and hopefully wiser. (I'm not sure I am.) We've done quite a bit this past year...cooked from recipes from 1967, 1903, and the 1st century ADvisited Downton Abbey through Victorian and Edwardian recipesanalyzed nutrition, 1900-stylefallen in love with making ice creamcanned tomatoesgotten nostalgic with old family photosharvested from my kitchen… Continue reading Two years

19th century, 20th century, activities, afternoon adventure, dreams, family, gardening, sister, travel

Afternoon Adventure: Longwood Gardens

A month ago my family met up in Philadelphia to celebrate my sister's graduation. We had some free time before the festivities began, so we drove about an hour outside of the city to the Brandywine Valley, former home of painter Andrew Wyeth and current location of some absolutely beautiful estates and gardens.We spent the… Continue reading Afternoon Adventure: Longwood Gardens

18th century, 19th century, activities, american frugal housewife, health, homesteading, how-to, lessons learned, little house cookbook, thrift

How to render suet for cooking

Back when I first started this blog, I learned a few things right away about historical cooking. First, some old recipes are very similar to their modern counterparts (like pie). Second, animal fat is wonderful. From salt pork to lard, it's all delicious.Lard may have fallen out of favor with the onset of fat-free food,… Continue reading How to render suet for cooking

activities, adventure, afternoon adventure, honesty, newport, rhode island, spring, victorians

Afternoon Adventure: Servant Life Tour at The Elms

I want to say something meaningful about all this horrifying news coming out of Boston, but I can't find the words. There's only so much sadness I can take in at a time, especially when it's on such a vast scale as the Marathon and a citywide manhunt. At some point I just need to… Continue reading Afternoon Adventure: Servant Life Tour at The Elms

activities, books, childhood, dreams, gardening, kitchen garden, spring

The wearing of the green

Almost all the seeds I planted a few weeks ago have sprouted, and my seed tray is now a veritable wonderland of tiny green sprouts and tendrils.While I love all the phases of the growing season (except perhaps pest control--haven't figured out a green way of combating aphids yet), this is definitely my favorite. I… Continue reading The wearing of the green